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Toward a Dramaturgy of Feminist Spatial Curiosity: Urban Performance Creation in Montreal

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Toward a Dramaturgy of Feminist Spatial Curiosity: Urban Performance Creation in Montreal

Donehower, Joanna Kathleen (2021) Toward a Dramaturgy of Feminist Spatial Curiosity: Urban Performance Creation in Montreal. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

My doctoral research in urban performance engages both creative and academic research modalities to explore the performative interactions between performance and its city of situation, putting into practice a spectrum of historical and contemporary techniques for engaging critically and creatively with urban places. Curiocité is an urban theatre and performance dramaturgy oriented toward apprehending and representing—through curious modalities, narratives, and media—the histories, ambiguities, and differential material and social effects of ongoing capitalist processes on urban neighbourhoods. Abattoir de l’est, the first performance event issuing from Curiocité, is a parable situated in Montreal’s deindustrializing and gentrifying east-end district of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. In the context(s) of this performance research, curiosity delineates an attitude of desire toward the local and the proximate, describing a complex, careful, and eccentric set of experiential and archival techniques (walking, collecting, and assemblage) for apprehending ever-changing urban places, and drawing from a repertoire of curiosity-related aesthetic forms and techniques, among them the curiosity cabinet, popular motion picture media, object theatre, and epic theatrical techniques of defamiliarization toward “as is” narratives and “common sense” discourses of place. A narrative exegesis to my performance research in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Toward a Dramaturgy of Feminist Spatial Curiosity: Urban Performance Creation in Montreal responds to and through the following questions: How can curiosity toward place inform urban performance research? What methods and media support a curious approach to performance creation? Tracing the processes of composition for Abattoir de l’est, from scripting through to the siting of the performance event in the urban field, the exegesis asks after the artist’s own siting in these ongoing capitalist processes, demonstrating curiosity as an epistemic stance and set of methods for urban performance creation that would hold onto the ambivalence of the city, while seeking also to embody curiosity in the text through reflective and reflexive returns to the archives and places of performance research. The exegesis includes the full script of Abattoir de l’est, with performances documented through multiple photographs.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Humanities: Interdisciplinary Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Donehower, Joanna Kathleen
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Humanities
Date:12 February 2021
Thesis Supervisor(s):Vaughan, Kathleen
Keywords:Research-Creation, Dramaturgy, Urban Performance, Curiosity
ID Code:988099
Deposited By: JOANNA DONEHOWER
Deposited On:29 Jun 2021 20:53
Last Modified:29 Jun 2021 20:53
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